There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Sunday, July 15, 2007

The family from another time. 3 pics in post..4th added

The top picture(s) are of my father's first family. In the first pix my dad is on the right, next to him is his wife Ruth (Brown) and she is holding their daughter, Barbara Jean. The other folks are not identified as usual. Barbara Jean is the lovely girl in the second pix. I met Ruth Brown, I knew Barbara Jean and I had also met Ruth's mother MRS. Brown as she told me to address her. I don't know when or for how long Ruth and my dad were married, but Barbara Jean (it was never just Barbara) was already in her late teens in my first memory of her. Barbara Jean was born deaf and here is the story: Ruth came from money, she married my dad, MRS. Brown didn't like my dad, Ruth was cut off, they lost everything during the depression, moved to a ranch in Northern California where my dad found work, Ruth got pregnant, contracted German measles during her early pregnancy, Ruth begged her mother to help them, she did, they moved back to Los Angeles where Barbara Jean was born, deaf. MRS. Brown put Barbara Jean through the Spencer Tracy School for the Deaf at a great cost, and when I finally met her (I was 5 or 6 she was in her late teens possibly 19) she was speaking beautifully, was fluent in sign language and was engaged to marry a deaf man, Jim, from the school. He was an instructor in signing there.

I know the marriage did not last long, but it was long enough for Barbara Jean to have a son, Jim, Jr. Eventually Barbara Jean re-married another deaf man, Ralph Cox, and they moved to Michigan.





Below is Barbara Jean maybe 9 or 10 years later (after her re-marriage to Ralph). From left to right, Ralph holding Rose Emma their daughter, Barbara Jean, my grandmother Minnie and standing are my Dad and Jim, Jr. At the time this pix was taken Barbara Jean was diabetic, they lived in squalor, neither she or Ralph worked, they lived on welfare, Barbara Jean no longer spoke but made noises and pointed a lot. This pix was taken at my Uncle Jack's place in Michigan. Both of the children were perfectly healthy. Both Ruth Brown and her mother MRS. Brown passed away shortly after Barbara Jean married Ralph. After my dad passed away the last thing I heard about the family was Jim, Jr. was in the Navy, Barbara Jean was very ill and Rose Emma and Ralph were living with his family. She was my half sister from the family from another time.


FYI, my dad was born in 1903 and I was born in 1944. He was 41 when I was born. I do know he was still married to Ruth Brown when he met my mom which was in the early 40's. My mom had married Phil Rivers and moved to California where Phil was stationed in Long Beach.

- TaDAA...Here is the picture I wanted right from the start! This is the very first time I met Barbara Jean. So, am I maybe 5? Is she maybe 17 or 18?







13 comments:

Auld Hat said...

Wait...are you saying that she was in her early twenties in that last photo?

rosemary said...

I wasn't very clear in my age thing. BJ was probably 12-15 or so years older than me. I was maybe 5 or 6 when I first met her, she was maybe 17 or 18. She was engaged at 20 plus, divorced and then remarried. The second pix is maybe 10 years after that and I judge that by Jim, Jr's. age looking at him. She is gone I know. She was never really healthy and as a young woman myself I thought how awful she looked and ill. They had come to visit several times in a rattletrap of a car. On the last trip, my dad took their POS in to his mechanic and had it overhauled.

rosemary said...

I kinda fixed the timeline thing.

Mom said...

You need to write a novel about your family. It has the makings of a best seller.

Auld Hat said...

It really does. These people are the great American novel.

Auld Hat said...

That is the biggest tricycle I have ever seen. Either that or all y'all are an exceptionally teenie family.

kenju said...

Yup, bestseller here!

Lorraine said...

The pictures just slay me!

Cazzie!!! said...

What an amazing family history, I am guessing we all got some great stories to tell, this tops them :)

Joan said...

What a fascinating family story! And the photos are wonderful! I definitely agree that you have potential here for a great book!

gina said...

I love your family stories. One of these days I'll write mine. It's interesting, though not nearly as interesting as yours! :) And I don't have the accompanying photos. They're all at my dad's. I need to get him to relinquish the family photo album for a just a short while so I can do some scanning. There are some priceless photos in that thing!

more cowbell said...

LOVE the trike -- that's a great pic. I love the photos and stories on your site. So interesting!

Middle Child said...

WQonderful photos...we are so lucky to have them...yours are amazing...a book is in there...start with a big ring folder...or on the computer and just sit and start "I remember, i remember i remember...keep writing that and something will come. it doesn't have to be in sequence...as you can slip individual stories together later. Imagine being 5 sitting on the floor of say the kitchen...bedroom what can you see? Or do it in 5 year slots to start off with just write...we are the old women of the future...